MLB 50 Free Agent Predictions

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter.  It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA's with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter. It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA’s with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

Free Agent Predictions

By Jordan Gluck (Free Agency Correspondent)

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These are my personal predictions on where the top free agents will sign. This is the same kind of list of the top 50 free agents made by our friends at mlbtraderumors.com.

Please keep in mind there will be trades this offseason so holes will be filled that way as well (I believe the Cardinals will trade for a SS).

I am not going to estimate any dollar figures in this specific article but I do expect some overpayments this year.

Robinson Cano 2013 Highlights

Cano could be the missing piece in Detroit.  It could be a gamble that pays off for the Motown Boys.  It would likely mean trading Max Scherzer, and letting Peralta and Infante all walk from last year, and they could sign the 2B to a 6 or 7 year deal at about $30 MIL per year.  NYY will probably max out at about $25 MIL for Cano, to which, he may just walk.

Cano could be the missing piece in Detroit. It could be a gamble that pays off for the Motown Boys. It would likely mean trading Max Scherzer, and letting Peralta and Infante all walk from last year, and they could sign the 2B to a 6 or 7 year deal at about $30 MIL per year. NYY will probably max out at about $25 MIL for Cano, to which, he may just walk.

Without further adieu =  this is the list y’all can scold me on.

1. Robinson Cano, Tigers 

Anyone surprised? The tigers have a hole at second with Omar Infante moving on and I can see this as the final piece of the puzzle.

Owner Mike Illitch has stated his desire to win a championship before he passes away and this could be the piece to finally get them there. By signing Cano they would forfeit their 1st round pick.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Mariners

The Mariners have plenty of money available to spend even though their owner unfortunately passed away. Ellsbury is a west coast kid and fits right into a hole for the Mariners. They forfeit their 2nd round pick.

3. Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers

I feel that the Rangers will take a run at Ellsbury but will fall short. Choo would slot in nicely with the Rangers as he can play any outfield position although he is best suited for a corner spot. They forfeit their 1st round pick.

Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn know how much a good Catcher can influence your team (AKA Pierzynski).  McCann could fill that void for a couple of years, and then slide into a DH role in the later years of a long term deal.  CWS has shown they have money to spend.  The 30 Year old has clubbed 20+ HRs in 7 of his 8 seasons, including smacking 20 in 2013 - in just 356 AB.  His Career 3 Slash is .277/.350/.823

Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn know how much a good Catcher can influence your team (AKA Pierzynski). McCann could fill that void for a couple of years, and then slide into a DH role in the later years of a long term deal. CWS has shown they have money to spend. The 30 Year old has clubbed 20+ HRs in 7 of his 8 seasons, including smacking 20 in 2013 – in just 356 AB. His Career 3 Slash is .277/.350/.823.

4. Brian McCann, White Sox

The White Sox already flexed their financial muscle with the signing of Jose Abreu in October but have a large hole behind the plate.

They only forfeit their 2nd round pick as compensation – which means signing one of the 14 Qualified FA’s that more enticing.

5. Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees

The posting fee doesn’t go against the luxury tax so this shouldn’t hinder their ability to get under the $189 million dollar ceiling. Tanaka is the only potential young Ace in this class and based on the performance of Yu Darvish and his past record in Japan I believe he is worth the gamble.

6. Ervin  Sanatana, Twins

The Twinkies were last in starters era last year with the only team to be above 5 earned runs per game allowed. Even though Santana was tendered they will not lose their first round pick because they were a bottom 10 team last year. They will have to forfeit their second round selection though.

Garza, seen here in Tampa Bay gear, could be reunited with former teammate James Shields, if the Royals pick him up.  With his stuff in a hitters ballpark, he could have a really good year.

Garza, seen here in Tampa Bay gear, could be reunited with former teammate James Shields, if the Royals pick him up. With his stuff in a hitters ballpark, he could have a really good year.

7.  Matt Garza, Royals

The Royals have not made the postseason since they won the World Series in 1985 and have a good chance to make it this year. Garza would make for a nice 1-2 punch with Shields at the top of the rotation and improve postseason odds.

8. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees

Kuroda is tendered and I see him retiring, returning to Japan, or playing another season in pinstripes. The Yankees are embarrassingly thin at starting pitcher this year so he is very important to this club.

9. A.J. Burnett, Pirates

Burnett feels comfortable in Pit and would highly prefer to stay with the Pirates. I feel this is a nice fit.

10. Mike Napoli, Red Sox

Napoli has stated his desire to stay with the Red Sox he was a perfect fit during their World Series Championship season last year and I feel he is a great complement to that club.

JImenez was on top of the world in 2009, with a 13 - 0 start, and a no - hitter, he then had 3 years of futility before a sharp 2nd half turnaround in 2013 - where he had an ERA under 2 from the ASG on.  Jimenez would be a perfect #3 behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

JImenez was on top of the world in 2009, with a 13 – 0 start, and a no – hitter, he then had 3 years of futility before a sharp 2nd half turnaround in 2013 – where he had an ERA under 2 from the ASG on. Jimenez would be a perfect #3 behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

11. Ubaldo Jimenez, Phillies

I just have a feeling that with the pressure on Ruben Amaro and some room in the payroll he is destined to make some dumb decisions to save his job where the Phillies are really no-where near contention and covered in bad contracts. The Phillies do need starting pitching however and Jimenez is one of the best on the market. The Phillies forfeit a 2nd round pick.

12. Carlos Beltran, Rockies

The Rockies would like to move the reigning NL batting title champion Michael Cuddyer to first base to replace the retiring Todd Helton. The Rockies could use a switch hitter like Beltran in the middle of a pretty good lineup. As a hitter playing at Coors field would be a nice draw, unfortunately it is the opposite for pitchers. The Rockies forfeit a 2nd round pick.

Granderson had back to back 40 HR years in 2011 and 2012 with the Yankees - after struggling to hit with the PInstripers his 1st year there in 2010.   Last year was an injury filled year.  This smells of a classic NYM overpay!!

Granderson had back to back 40 HR years in 2011 and 2012 with the Yankees – after struggling to hit with the PInstripers his 1st year there in 2010. Last year was an injury filled year. This smells of a classic NYM overpay!!

13. Curtis Granderson, Mets

The Mets have a plethora of holes to fill specifically in the lineup, which is quite bare. Granderson can handle the pressure of playing in the big apple and will enjoy his salary. The Mets forfeit their 2nd round pick.

14. Stephen Drew, Twins

The Twins have needs all over the diamond but luckily they have one of the best farm systems in the game headed by top prospect Byron Buxton. The Twins could be looking at a situation like Jayson Werth where you sign someone long term and the youth grows around them. The Twins currently don’t have a high ceiling Short Stop in their system They forfeit their 3rd round pick.

15. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Angels

The Halos have spent on the free agent market for the past couple of years now and it has not worked out favorably. This maybe the last year for GM Jerry Dipoto to save his job so he will try to tweak some things with his team.

16.Scott KazmirBraves

I see Tim Hudson going elsewhere so this would be his replacement.

17.   Nelson Cruz, Rangers

I think staying with the Rangers is the smartest thing for him. He is tied to compensation and I don’t believe clubs would be very willing to give up their first round pick to sign a 33yr old who is coming off of a drug related suspension.

Omar Infante is exactly who the Yankees should go after - if they can't lock down a deal with Cano.  He can play 3 different Infield positions, good for a team with a suspended 3B,a  40 Year Old SS, and no 2B.

Omar Infante is exactly who the Yankees should go after – if they can’t lock down a deal with Cano. He can play 3 different Infield positions, good for a team with a suspended 3B,a 40 Year Old SS, and no 2B.

18. Omar Infante, Yankees

One of the most underrated players in the game. He will be the replacement for Cano and can also play some 3rd base in case of Arods suspension being held up in any capacity.

19. Joe Nathan, Angels

The Angels bullpen was woeful the past couple of years and if they want to turn around there fortunes that’s going to have to change.

20. Ricky Nolasco, Giants

The giants lack starting pitching depth as we all found out last season. Nolasco is nothing special but can be a serviceable starter.

21.Jhonny Peralta, Pirates

I can’t imagine they wont fix the biggest weak spot on their team. I can see them giving Peralta a 1-year chance for him to prove it wasn’t all the drugs. It would be the perfect bridge to Alen Hanson (who I’m not all that high on).

22. Bartolo Colon, Indians

The Tribe need a starter to replace the departing Kazmir and Jimenez. I feel Colon would be cheaper than you’d expect because of his PEDs and weight issues.  If he doesn’t sign in Cleveland, he will probably go back to Oakland for even less cash.

Arroyo would be a perfect compliment to the Starters the Mariners currently have, and if all went well, you have a cagey Veteran with several years of playoff experience to help your squad.

Arroyo would be a perfect compliment to the Starters the Mariners currently have, and if all went well, you have a cagey Veteran with several years of playoff experience to help your squad.

23. Bronson ArroyoMariners

If the Mariners want to be serious this year they have to iron out all 5 of the rotation spots behind the Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.

24. Mike Morse, Orioles

While the Nationals should be kicking the tires on the once proud Washington player, the Orioles will sneak and covet him for depth at OF and the DH position

25. Grant Balfour, Tigers

The one real weak spot to the Tigers has been their Pen I feel the aged Balfour would be a nice help and bridge to Bruce Rondon.

The Rest Of The Bunch

The Cardinals don’t have many needs at all but I feel that the bullpen just needs a little bit of a touchup.  With moving some of their Relief Core back to the Rotation, and added Veteran presence would help.

  • 27. Scott Feldman, Twins

They are desperate for starting pitching and while Feldman isn’t a star he can be average.

The tender they threw on him will basically kill his free agency this year. The Mariners need some power anyway.

What a perfect guy to bring in short term for the Red Sox.  Chooch calls great games, has a ton of playoff experience, and wouldn't cost as much as other backstoppers on the FA Market.  This would save money for more pitching for the Boston club.

What a perfect guy to bring in short term for the Red Sox. Chooch calls great games, has a ton of playoff experience, and wouldn’t cost as much as other backstoppers on the FA Market. This would save money for more pitching for the Boston club.

  • 29.Carlos Ruiz, Red Sox

Chooch can be a nice bridge to Ryan Lavarnway and can prove to be effective with his bat.

This one has more too it than meets the eye. JJs agent has stated that he wants to pitch in a pitchers park to rebuild his value. This is the kind of deal Jeffrey Loria loves too.

Also remember that he used to pitch for the Marlins and they have a excellent defensive shortstop in Adeiny Hechavarria and center fielder in Jake Marisnick while having one of the most pitcher friendly stadiums in the league.

He will most likely want to go to a bad team so he gets traded midseason and will not be eligible for a tender which will increase his price tag on the open market next season. An effective JJ will also give the Fish a dangerous rotation… until he is traded.

  • 31. Tim Hudson, Mets

The Mets are flush with cash and Hudson could replace a hole created by Matt Harvey’s elbow.

The Indians just released Chris Perez and Joe Smith is a free agent so they will be looking for some help in the pen.

They need a stopgap to bridge to Tommy Joseph who I believe will have a rebound year.

The Brewers quietly have one of the best if not the best offense in the senior circuit but what they don’t have much is pitching. Haren could have a big rebound season with these guys.

The Rockies have had a hard time recruiting pitchers to pitch at Coors Field. I feel though that success this past year by Tyler Chatwood, Jorge De La Rosa, and Jhoulys Chacin will help convince pitchers otherwise. Also remember that there will be incredible run support in Colorado this year.

  • 36.Suk-min Yoon, Blue Jays

He pitched this past year in Korea and will most likely come to MLB this year. I don’t know much about him but the Blue Jays season was ruined the past couple of years based on their pitching depth getting shattered.

James Loney is perfect for the "Moneyball' team, provided he is not asking the world in a contract.  The A's could free up the DH for Brandon Moss and or Nate Freiman with inserting the slick fielding 1B onto the squad.

James Loney is perfect for the “Moneyball’ team, provided he is not asking the world in a contract. The A’s could free up the DH for Brandon Moss and or Nate Freiman with inserting the slick fielding 1B onto the squad.

One of the few holes on a good A’s team was 1st base. Loney had a breakout season with the Rays this past year and I feel he can be a positive to the Athletics.

Hughes could try for a back bounce season of his own with one for the Giants as well.

They have signed Casey Kotchman and James Loney and have had excellent production from them in recent years as breakouts. Corey Hart had knee surgery and this would be a gamble but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a good year.

The Astros are a young rebuilding team with plenty of young talent. It is important those young starters confidence aren’t crushed by a bad bullpen.

  • 41. Nate McLouth, Mariners

He would add more offense to a Mariner team in need of it.

Had a good year with the Dodgers last year and could be a placeholder till Chase Headley hits free agency in a year.

This is a pretty good reds team but they have a lack of southpaws on the pitching staff. With the exception Tony Cingrani they have no other potential lefty starters. Maholm would be a good number 5 pitcher on a quality team.

Joe Smith would be a nice reliever to add to a below par bullpen. The Mets I think will make moves this winter.

Morneau would be a great fit with the team, as Juan Francisco was sort of a stopgap, Corey Hart is no longer with the team, and

Morneau would be a great fit with the team, as Juan Francisco was sort of a stopgap, Corey Hart is no longer with the team, and Morneau could hold the fort down until Hunter Morris arrives.

They need a first baseman as a bridge to Hunter Morris. Morneau could also provide veteran leadership to a team looking to get back on the right path.

Same thing with Mujica as the Astros have to build confidence in their young starters.

The Rockies need someone at the back of their bullpen to replace the hurt Rafael Betancourt.

He can slide into the back of the Blue Jays starting 5 and give them a boost and some depth to hopefully remain competitive this year.

I feel the Nationals can afford to roll the dice on Doc and if it works out it could mean into late October for this team. 

The Phillies are always going to be in the race for his services, although they may not buck up enough dough for him.

  • 50. Chris Young, Reds

Will need a veteran CF to replace the departing Choo. Chris Young would come as a much more affordable alternative.

Phillies fans would have loved to have seen him sitting atop a Budweiser Clydesdale-driven wagon much like we'd have screamed for joy to see Ron Hextall sipping from Lord Stanley's Cup. Athletes who are the epitome of what it means to be a teammate, willing to trade all of their individual awards and accolades for the champagne taste of a World Championship. But the reality is that it was not meant to be; not for Roy Halladay in Philadelphia.

Phillies fans would have loved to have seen him sitting atop a Budweiser Clydesdale-driven wagon much like they have screamed for joy to see Ron Hextall sipping from Lord Stanley’s Cup. Athletes who are the epitome of what it means to be a teammate, willing to trade all of their individual awards and accolades for the champagne taste of a World Championship. But the reality is that it was not meant to be; not for Roy Halladay in Philadelphia.  Could his fate in the Philly change with a re-uppance of a new contract?  Perhaps, but we simply think he could be best suited to be the #5 Starter for a team like the Washington Nationals, who could risk an early season  Rotation spot with their depth.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Prospects/Baseball Operations/Free Agent Correspondent’ Jordan Gluck for preparing today’s featured article.  Jordan wants to be a MLB President of baseball operations one day. H

e has grown up in south Florida all of his life after moving there when he was two months old. Jordan grew up a FLORIDA Marlins fan but lost his devoting allegiance when they moved to Miami. 

He is a senior in high school and will be going to college next year. He will have a heavy focus on roster evaluations, prospects, and the business of baseball!  You can follow Jordan on twitter 

a jordan gluck

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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